Hero's burial for officer who helped stop attack

2015-04-11 21:39

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cheleget - Most walked for several kilometres on dusty paths to the remote village in southwestern Kenya, others arrived in bicycle taxis, the privileged in cars and even helicopters.

Thousands of Kenyans on Saturday flooded Cheleget village in the Rift Valley to give a hero's burial to police Corporal Benard Kipkemoi Tonui who died fighting to end the Islamic extremist attack on Garissa University College which killed 148 people on April 2.

Tonui was part of the police department's Recce Company which stopped the attack on the college in eastern Kenya in less than 30 minutes. This was after the army and regular police had tried for more than 12 hours to stop the four gunmen from Somalia's al-Shabaab militant rebels from killing students.

Burial for victims of the attack started on Friday after the government released the bodies to their families.

Simon Sanga, Tunoi's father told the crowd he cried and asked God "Why me?" when he received news of his son's death.

"It is not even two years since I buried another son, a police officer, also killed an al-Shabaab attack in Garissa," Sanga said.

Sanga said in grief he thought about taking matters into his own hands to avenge his sons' deaths but after praying he removed those thoughts from his mind.

Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto called on the government to equip and compensate the police officers to help them combat the extremists.

Mourners climbed trees to witness the coffin being lowered to the grave in a ceremony conducted by the Recce Company in ceremonial green uniforms and red berets.

The 21-gun salute startled some of those in the trees, causing them to hurriedly climb down.

The success of Recce Company has given a much needed boost to the image of the Kenya police force, which many deride as ineffective and corrupt.

The nation's police cope with poor pay and difficult working conditions. Transparency International has ranked the police as Kenya's most corrupt institution.

Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa  |  garissa attack

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.